Debt Advice and Money Saving Tips Blog – Week 2
In this weekly series, The Debt Advisor will help you with some useful hints and tips to help you save money on your most common expenditure items. During our debt advice calls we regularly find people are spending more money than they need to on basic household expenses, by following this series we hope we can help you save money and help make life that little bit more affordable!
Saving Money on your Energy Bills
Switch your Supplier – Switching your energy supplier could save the average UK household £300 per year according to OFGEM, the government regulator for gas and electricity.
Turn down the thermostat – by reducing it by just 1°C could cut a massive 10% off your heating bill, usually saving around £75 per year.
Fill it up! – One full load of your washing machine or dishwasher will use lots less energy than two half loads, wash your clothes at 30°C and only use your tumble dryer if you absolutely have to.
Use energy saving light bulbs – They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs and don’t cost much more. Using one can save you £55 over the lifetime of the bulb.
Am I paying too much for my gas and electric?
Switching is easier than ever with a whole host of companies offering energy comparisons online, before you start looking, here are a few things you need to know:
Gas and Electric all comes from the same place, all of the energy suppliers use the same energy from the national grid, meaning you do not get brighter lights or a quicker tumble dryer with British Gas compared to Npower for example. The only difference is the price, and that’s what you should focus on when looking to switch supplier.
Who is your current supplier, the name of your current energy plan and an estimate of your usage (if you don’t have a bill to hand or have gone paperless, this information is available online through your supplier, or you can request this information over the phone).
If you are currently on a fixed tariff, you will have to wait until the last two months of your contract before you are allowed to switch as many companies will charge you for exiting the contract early (usually £30 per fuel) unless the saving is much more, in which case it still makes sense to switch as soon as possible.
If you are on a standard or variable tariff there should be no charge for switching or early exit fees, but its best to double check online before you do so.
Standard tariffs are often offered by the ‘Big 6’ and do exactly what they say on the tin, they are not special or cheap, but the standard tariff can be almost double the price of a fixed or variable option with the very same company!
Variable tariffs mean that your bill will go up or down along with the national prices for energy, meaning if it costs your supplier more to purchase their energy then you too will pay more, however if prices drop so will your bill, meaning it can become a bit of a gamble. We recommend a fixed price tariff which will allow you to budget for your bill each month as it will only vary based on your consumption.
If you are on prepaid meters and have no debt on your account, you can switch immediately to a cheaper supplier; also look out for those who have useful apps which you can use to top up from your phone which will save you running down to the shop when your meter runs out!
The best offers can be found on the following sites:
At The Debt Advisor we pride ourselves delivering great debt advice, creating debt management solutions and helping our clients manage their money more efficiently. Our helpful blogs are a great source of information for money saving techniques and how to manage your income to help you remain debt free in the long term. Our debt advice is always free, fair and impartial, so feel free to get in touch here.